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Weaving through the market, clutching my backpack.  Stepping carefully lest I step on something that squishes.  Avoiding potholes full of muddy water, avoiding lines of horse dung and the gray water running down the sides of each road.  Stepping around people, feeling the gentle ebb and flow of a moving crowd.  Pausing while 2 large vehicles, both going the same direction, attempt a u-turn on an impossibly small road crowded with people, bicycles, children, and tienditas.

The small list of necessities in my pocket reminding me of my new spanish words.  Papel higenicia, afeitadora, queso, platanos, frijoles.  Comida for a small feast.  Then finding my head turned by the lady selling tupperware for 20 cordoba, by the bag of nachos at Pela.

Walking whilst munching on my bag of nachos.  Making new friends!  Hands held out on narrow walkways asking for fritos, fritos, fritos.  Even when there’s only crumbs left in the bag, dumping a handful into an abuelita’s hand, asking for a small treat as she squeezes into the shade of a doorway, Nicaraguan sun rising higher as the day presses on towards high noon.

Walking back towards town through the park, catching site of jugglers standing en la calle behind a hippy bus, next to a car painted green with vines and eyes and leaves.  Smiling faces, Argentinian license plates, curly haired light-eyed hippy from Brazil.  Stopping for some raspada.  Shaved ice swimming in a bright pink mixture of dulce, unidentifiable fruit, and sweetened condensed milk.  15 Cordoba – about 65 cents – and a coolness that slides down my throat, a sweetness that keeps me smiling until it’s time for work in the evening.

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